When it comes to finding and hiring a potential wedding florist there're a number of things you should have done first. This includes reserving the venue for your reception and ceremony. Once this is complete you can now come up with an extensive list of must-ask questions to put forward. You'll then be able to talk about any extra floral décor cost required to accomplish a certain style or look at the reception/ceremony site or simply complement the aesthetic of the room or an existing garden if the ceremony will be happening outdoors.
Also, remember, designing a wedding bouquet before the wedding dress has been ordered is not the way to go. You've a number of months before going down the aisle and that gives you enough time to sort out all the details and extras needed for the floral decor.
Once you have the basics in place find the right wedding florist for your big day. The research you need can take place in vendor shops, websites or even through recommendations. The idea is to know whether the hired individual is able to design, create and arrange flowers in a certain style that you want. After you've drawn down to a handful of florists, it's time to zero in on the proper person for the job.
Request examples of past work
One of the obvious things a florist has is a portfolio of past jobs with images and contacts of weddings they've covered in the past. Request these examples or visit their websites, if any, and see for yourself as you search for real recommendations from previous clients.
Request ideas from the florist in conjunction with your budget
If indeed the florist cares and has been listening to you, she'll have no problem giving ideas and solutions that are within the budget you have in place. Sometimes the budget could be a little on the lower side and achieving what you want might be really expensive. In such a scenario the florist will come up with alternative blooms and alternative flower arrangements that will serve the purpose without breaking the bank.
Know whether the wedding florist is up for a mock up
Know if the florist has qualms about carrying out a mock-up for the big day. In the process you'll have a clear idea about the bouquet sizes required (or you'll need) and whether they'll be detracting the ceremony and pictures to be taken. You'll end up with the perfect bouquets for the event.
Consultation—is it free?
Ask the florists whether consultations are charged so that you don't end up with a bill you weren't prepared for after hours of talking. Of course, consultations are important; you'll be able to discuss color ideas, themes, posies, buttonholes and bouquets needed, among other things.
You can ask the florist whether they offer extras for dotting across the place where the event will take place, such as lamps, bay trees and votives, among others. If the florist can come up with some additional details you might end up staying within your budget or cutting down significantly.
Traveling and delivery
It's important to ask the florist about the delivery of the flowers and distance to be traveled and whether you'll be paying for it. Your needs might be unique and the florist has to travel for a longer distance to deliver all the flowers and extras needed for display set up just before the big day.
You should understand the mode of payment the florist expects to be paid through and if deposits are expected up front. Some expect payments to be done just before the ceremony and others immediately after the wedding. Know the modes of payments they take, check, cash or bank transfers, online payments, among others. In case the florist only accepts cash, arrange with your wedding manager, mother, bridesmaid or other to pay the supplier after the wedding.
Know the right time to order
Request the florist to shed light on the flower ordering process and how long you have to wait. The good thing is florists are always in weddings across the year and finding the right flowers is never a problem. However, if you have special tastes for blooms that are very unusual or out of season ask in advance if they'll be able to deliver them in time for the big day. The important thing is booking a florist 6-8 months or so before the ceremony.
Clean up policy
Of course after the wedding and reception the flowers and extras will end up adding to the clutter and dirt that everything else adds to a reception after the eating, partying and dancing is over and the guests have gone. Ask if the cleanup and removal is your business or if they'll clean up as they remove their extras. It's always good to know.
Flower set up
Ask the florist who will be responsible for setting up the blooms on the day, whether it's the florist herself, staff or other. Also seek to know if the individual will be sticking around at the wedding, especially in the morning to make sure everything is going on well. Know how long the florist will need to set things up considering the wedding venue will be a hive of activity a day before the wedding and early in the morning of the big day. To avoid confusion with the deliveries coming in, ask the florist for an estimate of the total time they need to complete the set-up.
Breakages and charges
Ask the florist if cracks or damages on votives and vases have to be paid for and their policy on the damage of such extras during your wedding. You need to know to be well prepared in case the unexpected takes place.
It's important not to take any risk by asking the florist if they have any form of liability coverage as well as the cancellation process and refund policy, including when and how the payment is done. Florists today, like other vendors, need liability insurance; a huge number of venues will not even allow them there if they don't show proof of such cover.
Canceling or venue change might happen and you might want another florist. Nonetheless, you might have to pay some amount of money for canceling a contract or letting them go. It's always important to know how much, payment plans, among other things.